… we’d be on our way to Rostock now.

If it wasn’t for COVID-19 and the measures the Swiss government decided on during the last official meeting on the 6th of July, I would have been showing you pictures of my wonderful travel buddies on the way to Rostock now.

The probably best known route from Switzerland to Sweden is travelling through Germany and then using the ferry from Puttgarden to Rødby Sogn in Denmark. Following the roads to Copenhagen and passing by, one eventually takes the famous bridge called Øresundsbron which connects Denmark and Sweden. According to Google Maps this journey from my old apartment in Zurich to my new one in Lund takes approximately 14 hours.

Whereas Swiss people travelling from Sweden have to go into mandatory quarantine for 10 days when re-entering Switzerland, the Danish government was even more strict. They decided not to open the border for Swedish people / people travelling from Sweden. As we wouldn’t have wanted to take any unnecessary risks in this matter, we decided to explore a probably rather unknown / unusually way, which brings me to our initial plan.

Let me give you an overview of what was supposed to happen, before we cancelled it…

The initial plan

After successfully finishing my last teaching duties at ETH last week and packing the last things in my room, my moving story would have started today.

First, I want to introduce you to my travel buddies / moving squad.

To the right, I want you to meet Moji. Moji recently finished her master’s in Mathematics at ETH. We started our studies together back in 2014. Whereas I decided to switch to physics – you remember my last post, right? – she really doesn’t like it at all, and she fell in love with the beauty of maths entirely. Moji is very fond of analytic number theory (I honestly still don’t get what it is, so I’m not going to try to explain it…). Throughout the years at ETH, Moji did not only become my best friend, but also a sister to me. One can say: We survived ETH togETHer!

To the left, I want you to meet Andreas. I honestly don’t really remember where exactly we met for the first time. Andreas studied Geomatic Engineering and Planning at ETH during his bachelor’s. Currently he is finishing his master’s in Spatial Development and Infrastructure Systems and he stayed in Stockholm for an exchange semester during the past half year. Andreas is one of those people who has a long career in student representation and during these many meetings we enjoyed together, we became very close friends. In 2018 and 2019 we went on road trips together and explored parts of Italy and Spain. Sweden would have been added to the list this year…

With these two amazing people, a lot of good (& also bad) music to sing along and enjoy, all my stuff I wanted to bring to Lund and many ideas on what to do on our road trip, we would have started our journey today.

Our first stop would have been Rostock, Germany. We already booked an AirBnB to stay overnight so we could catch the first ferry from Rostock to Trelleborg, Sweden, the day after. There are three ferries connecting Rostock and Trelleborg each day (in both directions) and the first one during the week leaves at 7.30 in the morning. As the check-in closes an hour before departure, we wanted to make sure to sleep in Rostock the night before, so we wouldn’t miss the ferry in the morning.

The ferry ride takes exactly six hours which would have indicated an arrival time in Sweden at 13.30. From Trelleborg to Lund you need to drive for another hour.

After arriving in Lund and getting the keys to the apartment, we were about to stay for a night in Lund, exploring the city and the university through out the day. Our trip would have led us to Stockholm as well in order to get Andreas’ stuff he left when returning to Switzerland.

In total, we would have returned on the 23rd of July, having created many new memories on a road trip in Sweden. But sadly, we had to decide to cancel this trip…

Why we decided to cancel

On the 6th of July, the Swiss government decided to implement a mandatory quarantine for people travelling from risk areas. As Sweden has been classified as a high risk area, as the number of new cases per day do exceed the limit Switzerland uses for the definition of such an area.

Many thoughts, long phone calls, various discussions and back and forth in decisions later, it was with a heavy heart that we had to decide to cancel our trip to Sweden. Even though a quarantine afterwards might have been possible, we decided it is not worth the risk and losing ten days where I could be saying goodbye to the amazing people I met here, is not an option.

This decision has required some changes in my plans on when I’m going to Sweden. All I can say until now: My start in September is possible.

What are we doing instead?

Our Sweden trip had to be cancelled, but also Switzerland offers many different activities and places to discover. Instead of travelling to Sweden we decided to spend some wonderful days in the Swiss mountains.

I used the chance to visit my mom’s place and we enjoyed a brunch together. Moji and Andreas met my mom and my stepdad (Moji already did that once back in our second year at ETH) and our dog Mimi.

The street I called home for over ten years.

We went on a walk and I showed them one of the wonderful places at Walenstadtberg: the Paxmal. I will tell you more about it at the end of the week.

Paxmal (Walenstadtberg)

Our place to stay for the week is located at a very idyllic place close to Lenzerheid. My father owns a small cottage which he used to renovate himself a few years back. It offers the possibility to escape from everyday life every now and then.

We will spend the days exploring the canton of Graubünden giving me a last chance to enjoy the Swiss mountains for the time being. I will tell you about it in my next post, I promise.

Have a wonderful evening!

— Bibi

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